Alaska’s legislative leaders in both the House and the Senate sent a letter to Gov. Bill Walker on Dec. 24, urging him to take immediate action in cutting the budget, including calling for a travel and hiring freeze. That letter was released to the public today.
Walker responded with his own letter to legislators, thanking them for their recommendations. Walker said that his administration had already been considering many of their suggestions, and that he wouldn’t call for the implementation of his own until after Jan. 1. Read his letter here.
Walker also sent out a release today, announcing that he was asking his commissioners to identify potential cuts in their departments by January 10 and to “look at the potential effects of a 5-percent and 8-percent cut.”
He will also send out a survey where state employees can weigh in anonymously to identify government inefficiencies. (Note to state workers: This blog is a good place to do so also.)
The public is invited to weigh in here. Those who offer the top five suggestions will be invited to a private lunch with Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.
Here’s that press release in full:
Governor Bill Walker sent letters today to all commissioners asking them to identify potential cuts in their departments by January 10.
“With holiday celebrations winding down and oil prices dipping, it’s time we all roll up our sleeves and get to work on reducing costs,” Governor Walker said. “I have asked our commissioners to take a careful look at their departments to see where we can redesign or perhaps combine some services.”
Governor Walker asked each department to look at the potential effects of a 5-percent and 8-percent cut from the previous administration’s FY2016 Work-in-Progress budget released on December 15.
Governor Walker asked commissioners, in assessing places to cut, to also look for ways to maintain regional strength, partner with local governments and non-profit organizations and to evaluate whether the state should continue programs not legally required.
Governor Walker also asked state employees to weigh in anonymously through a survey to identify inefficiencies. That survey will be sent separately.
The public is invited to weigh in, as well. Governor Walker provided a survey website through which Alaskans can voice their ideas for cutting the budget: http://gov.alaska.gov/Walker/press-room/budget-survey.html
Those with the top five suggestions will have the opportunity to have a private lunch with Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott.
“This is a challenging task, but I’m confident that with teamwork and creative thinking, we can streamline state services and cut spending,” Governor Walker said. “I look forward to seeing the suggestions.”